The bath bomb contains one of four fabulous Sushi Zanmai prizes.

There are some products in Japan that we doubt would find a place on the market research board, let alone on supermarket shelves, in any other country. Fluffy aerosol soy sauce, for example, or realistic plastic model recreations of tuna fishing boats. So while we were surprised to find an officially licensed Sushi Zanmai bath bomb on the shelves at a supermarket, we weren’t that surprised.

Sushi Zanmai is a sushi restaurant, as you may have guessed—though they aren’t just any old sushi restaurant. A popular chain throughout Japan, they’re most notable for the auction antics of president Kiyoshi Kimura. Mr. Kimura has a tendency to show up at the fish market auctions with record-breaking stacks of cash to splurge in order to secure the biggest and best batches of tuna for his restaurants. This has understandably earned him the moniker of “Tuna King” in Japan.

▼ He also cameos in the Yakuza series, which sounds on-brand for those games.

It seems as good a reason as any to produce a bath bomb (or technically “bath ball”) in his honor. We admired the packaging, which is emblazoned with a smiling image of Mr. Kimura surrounded by many beautiful female Sushi Zanmai employees.

Then we spied the top right corner of the bag, where it purported to provide a “soothing ocean scent.” So like…saltwater? Seaweed? Surely it wouldn’t smell like fish, right? Even though it’s a sushi restaurant-themed bath bomb? It means a vague salty ocean smell. Surely. Definitely.

▼ What does a mild ocean scent smell like? Answer me, Mr. Kimura!

It’s pretty common nowadays for bath bombs (or balls) to reveal a random trinket or toy inside once they melt into the bathwater, and the Sushi Zanmai edition is no different. Of course, because this is a Sushi Zanmai bath bomb, all the potential prizes are related to Mr. Kimura and his dominion over all things tuna.

▼ Four potential prizes, with the least rare at the top and the rarest at the bottom.

So let’s see. Your most likely prize is the one at the top, a Pacific Bluefin Tuna labeled with Sushi Zanmai’s logo. There’s gotta be a tuna in here, right? They’re practically synonymous with Sushi Zanmai at this point.

The rest are small statuettes of Mr. Kimura, much like the ones found outside his restaurants. First up and least rare is President Kimura, sporting his typical ingratiating pose with his arms out.

▼ This one most resembles the restaurant statues.

Rarer than that is President Kimura and Tuna, where he is holding a large platter of tuna. Lastly, the rarest prize is the Golden President Kimura, whose body is completely dyed in gold. We were struck by this incredibly opulent version of the CEO. Did Mr. Kimura get deified at some point, and we just missed the memo?

Anyway, time to take our Sushi Zanmai bath.

▼ The ball is labeled “Inedible”. Thanks!

We peeled off the film and dropped it into the hot water. With a hearty sizzle, it began to melt into foam. The color from the bath salts spiraled down into the water and dyed it a tantalizing, tropical blue. It felt like Mr. Kimura himself had guided us to a water park, rich with bluer-than-blue oceans.

As for the smell, it came as a relief—rather than smelling like saltwater or fish, it had an enticingly semi-sweet aroma. It was much more akin to ramune soda than any kind of sea, mild or not. Phew!

Enough of the bath ball melted away that we could glimpse the plastic capsule within it.

▼ Can you tell what it is yet?

We don’t blame you if you aren’t gripped with suspense. Honestly, we weren’t especially excited either. What would we even do with a tiny plastic figurine of Mr. Kimura?

Here goes. What did we win?!

▼ Bluefin tuna, of course!

We looked at the tiny plastic fish and felt a flurry of emotions. Relief that we’d won a tiny plastic fish, which at least felt easier to appreciate than a tiny plastic restaurant owner. But also…disappointment? We’d been gearing ourselves up to laugh at the comically tiny rendition of Japan’s Tuna King, and now…we just had tuna.

▼ Just tuna.

The bath bomb cost 495 yen (US$4.36), so it wasn’t exactly cheap. We hadn’t even considered buying multiples, which is usually a given with this kind of random-choice lottery prize. Clearly, we hadn’t been sufficiently dedicated to the cause of Mr. Kimura’s bath bombs, and now we were reaping the rewards. Or lack of rewards.

▼ We’re sorry, Mr. Kimura.

We vowed to visit a Sushi Zanmai restaurant at our earliest convenience and prove ourselves worthy of Mr. Kimura’s blessing in the future. Even though we hadn’t been lucky enough to run into Mr. Kimura in this bath bomb, we were still pretty pleased with our tuna figure. It’s very beautifully rendered and has the logo of the restaurant stamped on the back. If you’re a real fan of Mr. Kimura and his sushi chain, it’s a great purchase.

We never thought we’d see a restaurant give KFC Japan a run for their money with whacky tie-in promotional items…but to be fair, KFC did sell bath salts first. If you’d like to own your own plastic figure of Mr. Kimura or one of his beloved Pacific bluefin tunas, you can pick them up at the restaurant or at participating supermarkets while stocks last.

Related: Sushi Zanmai
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